Minor crisis (cake to the rescue)

Before disaster struck

Before disaster struck

As usual I’ve left it too long in between posts and have far too much to tell you in just one post. I had been planning on showing some of my progress with various crochet projects but I think that will wait a little.

As it is, this post may be rather long and involved, feel free to turn off!

I’m in the process of weaving a custom baby wrap for a customer, along with a shawl for her Mum and what is known as a ‘sister’ wrap. This is another wrap from the same warp in the length and weft of the another customer’s choosing. All was going along happily; it was on the loom and I’d woven a metre or so, with the plan of really bounding along today. As you can see from the photo above, it was looking good.

Now I’ve not had much trouble warping my loom, I use the yank and crank method that involves vast quantities of brown paper but not much else, no pulling or tugging or anything else requiring much exertion. And I’ve always had great results; until today that is.

Now, the pattern for this warp is a heart weave and while I’ve made a few wraps in this draft, I wanted to maintain a little more width so wound extra ends. However, this meant it was a little trickier to beam (wind onto the loom) but I thought I had it on ok, until this happened.

IMG_5541

Eek! The warp threads at the edge came out from their layers of brown paper and snarled up before I had noticed (yeah, you’d think maybe I’d pay a little more attention). Two of the most important things about warping successfully is maintaining a consistent tension and keeping the threads nice and untangled, so you can see there is absolutely no success here. None. Not a jot.

I tried fixing it by adding weights (namely, 3 fishing leads, two small jamjars and one small dog) to the loose warp threads but just gave in after it was clear the only thing for it was to rebeam, that is to say, cut off the part already woven and unwind the warp and rewind it back on, this time avoiding the same issue.

It was a bit of a performance, for a while it looked like this, which was a teeny bit scary. Not least because there’s about £200 of yarn in the warp and I really really wanted to avoid loosing it all.

IMG_5542

After a little swearing, quite a lot of impatience and a fab hubby giving me cake (he fed me battenburg though the window), it got sorted out and it’s all up and running again. I’m going to start weaving again tomorrow but before then I thought I tell you a story.

If you’ve made it this far, I’m guessing you’re fairly dedicated so it will be ok to share this with you. If not then I’m at peace with my past and while you’re entitled to your own opinion, it’s no business of mine.

I’ve decided to tell you about this as I’m on the hunt for a new loom, all will become clear.

I love my loom but, to be honest, it’s not really up to the job of full-time weaving. My weaving falls into the production type so it is becoming more and more apparent I am in need of a production loom. Now I’ve found the perfect loom, except for one thing: the price. It’s in the U.S so I would need to pay for shipping and tax, as well as some weaving software for it; see I can afford the loom but not anything extra, which is a problem. The new loom would have a fly shuttle and an auto advance system that will speed things up considerably, without requiring more of my precious energy.

Ideally I would like to save for it but right now, we’re living very much hand to mouth and barely afford our monthly bills etc let alone saving (or take out a loan for that matter).

So I got creative and thought about how to raise funds for said loom. I’m weaving at top output for me, albeit including errors so that can’t change.

Then I recalled how I’ve seen some blogs with a Paypal ‘donate’ button. Great idea I thought, I can ask readers to donate (as you clearly haven’t anything better to do with your hard earned cash, like spend it yourself or donate to people who really need it), then found I couldn’t get it set up (computer genius me) so scrapped that idea which has left me little stumped.

I was going to tell you how it would enable me to continue running the business by making it easier for me to increase production and then tell you about where I was 17 years ago.

However, as this is no longer the plan, I think I’ll stop there and let your imagination do the job for me.

5 thoughts on “Minor crisis (cake to the rescue)

  1. rmwk100

    Oh, Rachel! I think that what you need is Crowdfunding, and I would contribute like a shot. You need advice from someone with experience of setting this up. Come back to me if I can be of any support in this venture. Love from Ruth XXXX

    Reply
  2. Mr weaving heart

    I know where you was 17 years ago flower xxx and where you are now xxxx your amazing and achieved so much xxxxx let go let God and all will become clear my very very special lady xxxxx if not we will just do a jewellery hiest xxxxxx

    Reply
  3. Cathy

    Oh Rachel, please let me know how I can help!! You are one amazing lady and we don’t really want you to get involved in a jewellery heist!!! Hahaha xx

    Reply
  4. mosaicthinking

    You have my sympathy on the warp problem. To change the subject a little, tell us about the perfect loom. What makes it perfect? From the photos of the loom you have, it looks rather nice but clearly it’s not meeting your needs.

    Reply

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